Overfished by the numbers

Commercial Fishing

Just happened to be thumbing through an April 2007 NatGeo and came across a few stats about our fisheries that caught my eye:

  • Estimated 40 million sharks killed annually for their fins
  • Global fish catch ~100 million tons (as of 2004)
  • Bluefin tuna fished at 4x sustainable rate in the Mediterranean for sushi markets
  • In longline fishing, discarded bycatch makes up nearly 30% of the take
  • 12 species of shark are commercially extinct in the Mediterranean
  • Catches in the northwest Pacific have been declining by more than 3% per year since 1998
  • Closed since the early 1990s, the Grand Banks cod fishery shows few signs of recovery
  • More than 33% of the world’s fish stocks are overfished
  • World tuna catch in 2004 reached 6 million metric tons

About The Author

Scott serves as Director of Development & Communications for Audubon Canyon Ranch (focusing on preservation, education and conservation science) and has almost fifteen years of experience spanning for-profit and nonprofit sectors in biotech, wildlife conservation and management, communications, and philanthropy. In addition to a strong track record in organizational growth and leadership, he is the founder of Urban Bird Foundation and Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, and presided over ECHO Fund, a coastal protection and restoration organization, as President for four years. Scott holds an M.A. in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Sustainable Development and Policy, degrees in Micro & Molecular Biology and Environmental Sciences, and has complemented his studies with a Master's certificate in Environmental Resource Management.

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